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Kyoto National Museum

In 1889 a law was enacted establishing The Kyoto National Museum (then the Imperial Museum of Kyoto), the Imperial Museum of Tokyo ( now the Tokyo National Museum) and the Imperial Museum of Nara (today's Nara National Museum). Construction of its first building begins in June 1892, and was finished in October, 1895. The museum opened in 1897. The museum went through a series of name changes. The current name, the Kyoto National Museum, was decided upon in 1952. First building —the Special Exhibition Hall — was designed by Katayama Tōkuma in 1895 and the most recent one, the new permanent collections hall —the Heisei Chishinkan Wing— was designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, known for his redesign of parts of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and his project for the Tokyo National Museum: the Gallery of Hōryū-ji Treasures. The regular exhibitions are shown in The Collections Galleries, while the Special Exhibition Hall is used for special exhibits. The museum was originally built to house and display art treasures privately owned by temples and shrines, as well as items donated by the Imperial Household Ministry. Currently, most all of the items in the museum are more or less on permanent loan from one of those places. The museum focuses on mainly pre-modern Japanese works and Asian art. The museum is also well known for its collections of rare and ancient Chinese and Japanese sutras. Altogether, the museum houses over 12,000 works, of which around 6,000 are on display at the museum. The museum also boasts photographic archives containing over 200,000 photographic negatives and color transparencies. In the Fine Arts collections alone, there are more than 230 pieces that have been designated as either National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties. | Photos by Martin Grossmann September 2019 | URL: https://www.kyohaku.go.jp/eng/index.html